Democracy is important in many senses. It is first and foremost a form of government - famously described as, "government of the people, by the people and for the people".
It is then a process, which enables us to choose our government; that process, of elections and political parties, is often confused with democracy itself, but elections are merely the mechanism by which we deliver the form of government.
Importantly, democracy also allows us to choose our leaders. Government and leaders are, for this purpose, two quite different concepts. A government makes the laws and implements the policies by